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Ixion – L’Adieu aux Etoiles Award winner

Ixion
L’Adieu aux Etoiles
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 26 October 2020, 11:39 AM

Formed in France in 2004, IXION is an Atmospheric Doom Metal band, who have released three prior full-length albums. “L’Adieu aux Etoiles” is the band’s fourth, and contains seven tracks. “Stellar Crown” leads off the album. It opens slowly, with some electronica, and a few solemn guitar notes that gradually increase in sound. The vocals are very guttural, and that full Doomy sound hits hard. The sound then drops to some chanted vocals, which are very pretty, but that melancholy sound is still there. An instrumental passage around the half-way mark pushes the Atmospheric elements into the forefront of the song. It ends on a moment of sad beauty.

“Havoc” is a bit shorter in length, opening with more of those atmospheric moments. The guttural vocals are then sung in harmony with the clean vocals, and the sound is enriched. The sound drops off again, with just some despondent strings and soft, spoken word. It picks back up with a new riff, and the guttural vocals are in full swing. It ends with piano and clean vocals that really tear at you. “The Great Achievement” opens with some electronica, piano and light drumming. The main riff hits and there is but a glimmer of hope. Lead guitar notes climb into the horizon. All hopes are dashed when the harsh vocals come in. Again, mixed with clean at times, this really creates some unique layering. The lead guitars come back again towards the end, with renewed vigor.

“Progeny” is another shorter song, opening with light keys, and building some atmosphere. A faster moving riff combines with clean vocal chanting, and some electronic vocals as well. There isn’t much this band haven’t offered here when it comes to various elements of their music. At the half-way mark, the keys build this sublime little melody that sticks to your ribs. “The Black Veil” opens with clean guitars and a howling wind in the background. It begins to swell, with additional instrumentation, and eventually, clean vocals. The melody is so subtle but also there for the taking as well. The guttural vocals are just there in support of the main sound, but definitely add a menacing layer to the music as well.

“Pulsing Worlds” begins with some heavy riffs and background atmosphere. Harsh vocals lead the way in the harrowing sound. Some soft spoken word comes in as well, and lead guitars provide moments of sad melody. Some clean vocals make a brief entrance, then it’s back to the harsh vocals again, pushing the Doomy elements into the canopy. It ends on a crescendo of full sound. “Farewell” closes the album, and what a fitting closer it is. Opening with some soft piano notes and an impending sense of doom, clean vocals pave the way at first. The harmonies they build are very frail and pretty. The harsh vocals bring back that menacing element again. After the half-way, mark, piano takes over, and it’s absolutely gorgeous. It finishes with majestic lead guitar notes.

Overall, this was a very original take on Doom Metal that had some many deep, pretty layers, that it had you hanging on in each song, at the edge of your seat, waiting to hear what comes next. The mixture of clean and harsh vocals, combined with the Atmospheric elements and piano notes at just the right places, really made for a uniquely pleasing sound that was very memorable during the entire ride. As I look into the annals of Doom Metal, IXION have their very own take on the genre that can be so beautiful, and overbearingly burdensome at the same time.

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 10
Production: 9

5 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Stellar Crown
2. Havoc
3. The Great Achievement
4. Progeny
5. The Black Veil
6. Pulsing Worlds
7. Farewell
Lineup:
Julien Prat – All instruments, Vocals
Yannick Dilly – Vocals (Clean)
Record Label: Finisterian Dead End Records
     


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